Srisailam

imatgepag: 

RDT has set up its base in Srisailam, with regional headquarters in Dornala, to work with around 8.419 Chenchu families from 208 villages and 25 Revenue Mandals in four operational areas and 3 districts, namely Kurnool, Mahabubnagar, and Prakasam, in Andhra Pradesh. The Chenchu Tribes are one of the primitive aboriginal tribes inhabiting the Nallamala Hills in the Kurnool, Prakasam, Guntur, Mahabubnagar, and Nalgonda Districts of Andhra Pradesh.

According to the 2001 Indian Census, there are 49.232 Chenchus in Andhra Pradesh.  They have a literacy rate of 32.28%, and there is a marked difference between male literacy (40.87%) and female literacy (23.45%). Their traditional way of life is based on hunting and gathering forest products. They are still dependent on the forest and most clans do not farm the land but hunt for subsistence. Of the 32 tribes in Andhra Pradesh, the Chenchus are the most underprivileged and live in extreme poverty.

The population of Chenchu tribes in the state decreases each year. According to human rights activist Prof. Haragopal, unless a major effort is made in the coming years to improve the Chenchus' living conditions, "not even one Chenchu would remain in around 40 to 50 years." Based on a survey conducted by students from the University of Hyderabad, a Chenchu's average lifespan is around 40 years, as opposed to 64 years for the general population. This is a direct result of their eating habits and culture, coupled with a lack of access to adequate education, healthcare, nutrition, and livelihood. RDT can play a complementary and supportive role for the government, and other like-minded developmental NGOs to improve the Chenchus' quality of life.